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  #1  
Old 01-21-2014, 02:34 PM
Inthedark Inthedark is offline
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Unhappy Hiding my true self

Hi everyone,
Im new here and was looking for a little help. I chose the name Inthedark because that is where I feel I'm living. For several reasons, I am unable to openly live my life as a polyamorous man. I am 35, have been married for 14 years and have two great kids. I only "discovered" that I was poly about two years ago. I had always felt like I was capable of joining in and maintaining more than one loving, romantic relationship at a time. I just thought that I was different or weird. I didn't realize that there is a whole community of people just like me that are out there. That brings some comfort and allows me the ability to talk about it to people that I really trust. I discovered polyamory through my wife. She had visited some poly friends of hers and they introduced the idea to her. My wife has had problems being faithful to me over the years and sh could't understand why. Well when her friends revealed that they were poly, my wife jumped on the wagon. Problem is she probably isn't. I think she just really likes to have sex. Well, I did a lot of research about it and everything I read gave me the indication that I was and truly am poly. About a year after my "discovery" and many long talks with my wife, I found someone. She was considerably younger than me and was smaller than my wife. Having been living a pretty open and honest life with my wife I decided to tell her about my new friend. At that time my wife told me to go for it and have fun as she had found someone as well. Well, about two days later she pulled the plug on me. Her potential arm had backed out on her. THe rejection destroyed her and it tore my heart out as well. But it also caused her to completely reject any idea of a poly marriage. I was in too deep with my friend by that time (I fall hard and fast!) and I also felt entitled because of my wife's past infidelities. So I decide to cheat. Long story short, I got caught! I never did anything with my friend and in hindsight, Im glad I did get caught. She wasn't right for me. But now, I'm stuck living a lie. I cannot admit to my wife that regardless of what happened, I still seek emotional love from other women. It isn't about sex to me. It is about emotional fulfilment. But I still am not allowed to have that. Therefore, I am forced to deny myself. I am forced to always want and never be truly happy.
The Second reason I'm hiding is because I am in the military and this sort of thing is frowned upon because I am married. It is difficult to talk to anyone about it. I think this forum may help there.
Well, now I have found a new special friend. She is amazing and we have both admitted that we couldn't imagine life without each other. She thinks she may be poly but isn't sure. She has a boyfriend but still gives me exactly what I need. I am so happy right now because she has finally told me that she loves me and because she doesnt mind if I have and love my wife.
Well, if you're still with me, here's my question... Given my limitations at home, is there anyway that I can maintatin my relationships without having to cheat OR get a divorce? How would any of you suggest I go about this? I am so tired of not being able to be who I really am. Thank you for your time.
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2014, 05:55 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I still seek emotional love from other women. It isn't about sex to me. It is about emotional fulfilment. But I still am not allowed to have that.
Who or what is stopping you from having emotionally fulfulling friendships? You? Wife? How?

Quote:
Therefore, I am forced to deny myself. I am forced to always want and never be truly happy.
What do you need to be happy? From you? From someone else?

Quote:
The Second reason I'm hiding is because I am in the military and this sort of thing is frowned upon because I am married.
Exactly what in your behavior is against military rules? You having a non-sexual friend you care about deeply?

Quote:
She has a boyfriend but still gives me exactly what I need. I am so happy right now because she has finally told me that she loves me and because she doesnt mind if I have and love my wife.
So you ARE happy. At least on the Special Friend side of the coin.

Seems like problem lies with wife relationship and not the friend relationship then.

You did not appreciate your wife giving the green light, and then taking it back when her other relationship folded. You would still like to be able to have non-sexual Special Friends that you can enjoy and love.

So... you could tell her what you want so you are not keeping it hidden.

You felt entitled because of her cheating affairs -- have you both healed from all that? Or still have work to do? Could do the repair work that is still left pending.

Quote:
Given my limitations at home, is there anyway that I can maintatin my relationships without having to cheat OR get a divorce?
Yes. To avoid cheating? You could know and articulate what it is you want and what you do not want and make your wife aware. Nothing is hidden.

To avoid a divorce? Well, her willingness to participate in a marriage is up to her. Not you. You are in charge of YOUR willingness. But being up front and honest doesn't cause divorces, so you could be honest and up front with your wife.
"Wife, I don't want a divorce. I don't want to cheat or keep things hidden from you. I want to make repairs to our relationship from all the cheating.

I also want to be up front and honest with you from this point on. So I want to make you aware that I have a special friend. It is non-sexual. I care about my friend and enjoy having the friendship because it brings me joy. She does not replace you or threaten your position as my wife. But given our past history, I want to be up front and honest and stop with leaving things out or keeping secrets. I want our marriage to be strong and healthy."
There. She's aware.

You can maintain your side of the friendship with your friend so it is a healthy relationship.

You can maintain your side of the marriage with your wife so it is a healthy relationship. Tend to your side of the equation. That is behavior YOU can do.

Whether friend wants to help tend her side of the (you + friend) relationship in a healthy way is up to your friend. Not you.

Whether wife wants to help tend her side of the (you + wife) relationship in a healthy way is up to your wife. Not you.

You can only hold your end of the sticks. Hold them well. See if your friend and your wife will hold up their sides.

Even if they do not? At least you have begun to live YOUR life in more authentic, honest ways than before. You no longer have to be tired of not being able to be who you really are. You have given yourself permission to be honest, authentic you.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-22-2014 at 12:15 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2014, 08:34 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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^^I love this post so, so much.

GalaGirl is absolutely right. Nothing is preventing you from loving your friend and having romantic feelings for her. I love someone as definitely more than a friend and we are not in a sexual relationship. You are not cheating on your wife simply by having feelings for someone else (although some monogamists do like to froth at the mouth about "emotional affairs," which is bullcrap, IMO). Nor is your girlfriend cheating on her boyfriend by having those feelings. What would turn this into a cheating situation is seeing each other in secret with the intent to have sexual contact. Can you live without that to honor your agreements?

If the answer is no, then I'd advise you to keep talking about polyamory with your wife. There may be a way to move forward towards an open marriage even if she got spooked once. You say she cheated, but you didn't actually cheat, just intended to do so? I'd say you two still have a lot of trust issues to work on. Polyamory generally doesn't work well for an existing couple unless their trust is very strong.

It is perfectly possible for a couple to have an open relationship where one person is emotionally poly and one is just out for a good time and doesn't want emotional ties to their lovers. You don't both need to have the same relationship orientation for this to work. But you do need to have good trust between you.

Maybe a couples' counselor with some knowledge of polyamory could help you navigate this? You may be able to find one here:

http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp//main.php?groupid[]=5

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2014, 09:44 AM
Inthedark Inthedark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarletzinnia View Post
^^I love this post so, so much.

Can you live without that to honor your agreements?
As I said to Galagirl, I can live with out the sex but if it is going to happen Im not going to stop it.

I'd say you two still have a lot of trust issues to work on.
I don't but she does. And thats what makes this so hard.

Maybe a couples' counselor with some knowledge of polyamory could help you navigate this? You may be able to find one here:

http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp//main.php?groupid[]=5

Funny thing with this! I looked into counselors in my area and found that my 13 year old daughters therapist is listed! Don't think I'll go that route

Good luck!
Thank you!
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2014, 09:50 AM
Inthedark Inthedark is offline
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Thank you both for your advice. I will certainly take all of your suggestions into consideration. I'm a pretty pessimistic guy, however, and I feel, at least at this point, that this may be a lost cause. In the end I believe that I will either loose my wife and family or I will loose my special friend and my own identity.
As I said before, I am afraid of my wife. She has emotionally blackmailed me for many years and I do believe that there has been some level of emotional abuse. She is a very domineering woman. But I love her. I never understood why a woman would stay married to a man who beat her. Over the past 18 months or so I have become aware of the torment that I have been through at the hands of my wife. Yet, I still love her and I remain with her. I completely understan now why it is so hard for the battered woman to leave.

Thank you again!
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2014, 02:31 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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This may be hard to hear. I mean it kindly ok?

You have bigger problems than you outranking your friend or you even having a friend.

You are dancing around the topic of "abuse."

Possibly because it's hard to use that word in relation to yourself. Or it is hard to believe it could happen to you.

Let's be clear here:
  • You don't want to cheat... because abuse would rain down on your head.
  • You don't want to get a divorce... because abuse would rain down on your head again.
  • You want to be free to live your life in a different way -- but cannot because you fear abuse will rain down on your head if you try.

If your wife is abusing you, the best thing you can do is check your military resources for this sort of thing. Get professional care on the civilian side if you prefer. But however you do it? Please get help.

If you are not ready to get the help? Please THINK about getting the help, and stay as safe as possible while thinking it out. If not ready to actually call, at least look up the number to call. One micro-step closer.

Quote:
Om afraid to. I dont want to risk my family. She is also vicious when angry and she emotionally abuses me. The first time, when things fell through, I became suicidal.
That is SERIOUS. To escape abuse you wanted to kill yourself.

Worried about physical risk to your family? You are correct there -- it is not unheard of for the abuser to take it out on the kids /block access to the kids if their victim is being "sassy" -- it is one of the ways to bring the victim back into line.

Quote:
You felt entitled because of her cheating affairs -- have you both healed from all that? Or still have work to do? Could do the repair work that is still left pending.
I take that advice back. I thought this was "normal" marriage problems at the time. Abuse changes the name of the game.

I think it is better to put energies into being free of abuse and getting away from the person so that you can feel safe again.

Still sadness to work through and healing to do. But safe, no longer abused, and no longer suicidal.

Quote:
This would not go over well.
You are correct.

Normally I go with honesty, but no. Abuse is not normal circumstances.

Do not be up front and honest at this time. I take that back also. Some abusers see you standing up for yourself as a challenge to smack you back down. So don't let her see, and don't stick your neck out until you are ready, have educated yourself, have secured professional advice, have a safety plan, and are prepared to LEAVE. If you have to lie to be able to reach safety and be safe from abuse? Lie so you can reach safety and be safe from abuse.

Assess, plan the mission, execute the mission -- think of it in military terms if you have to.


The leaving time is the dangerous time, and you don't seem like you are at that stage. Stage 5 leaving time stage. You seem at Stage 1 or 2 -- you want it to just STOP. But you do not want to leave at this time.

Practical suggestions?
  • Perhaps reading the stages will help you. While written for women, anyone could be abused and the stages are still the same. Scroll down to the stages part -- http://www.speakoutloud.net/contact-me/questions
  • Could review the tactics and highlight what you experience. Could take it to a counselor to help you formulate a plan -- BEFORE you ship back! You are safe right now -- could take the advantage.

Quote:
I have to choose to go one way or the other. Despite all the happiness that my friend gives me, there is still a lot of pain. Its hard to hide.
Of course you are in pain. I am very sorry you are being abused. You do not deserve this. NOBODY deserves to be abused.

I hope you choose to be free of abuse and take appropriate steps to do so safely. If the price of being free of abuse is to get a divorce from your abuser? You could consider paying the price so you can save you and your kids from this toxic environment.

You could remind yourself that if you want to, you can keep on loving her... from a safe distance. Out of the line of fire.
You could remind you that you can love her but NOT love her abusive behaviors.

You could get you and the kids to safety. Feel whatever you feel. But please... you could make "get me and kids out of the line of fire" your priority in your action behaviors.

You have children -- and they observe. It is not just their physical health at risk but their mental and emotional health also.

I don't think you want to groom your children to become easy targets because they grew up thinking this is "normal" marriage stuff. How much worse would it have to be for them before it finally registers as "hey... this is not normal! I could not expect to be treated this way!"

Worse? You probably don't want them observing and learning this is the way to treat a spouse and become the abusers themselves.

Tread carefully. Seek professional care. As a military person abroad, you actually have access to resources and time away from your abuser to seek it out in.

Could take the advantage and get yourself information/aid.


Could go talk to your superior officer. Could use your chain of command. Could help people help you. You deserve to be treated well.
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-22-2014 at 04:40 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-22-2014, 09:38 AM
Inthedark Inthedark is offline
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[QUOTE=GalaGirl;257827]Who or what is stopping you from having emotionally fulfulling friendships? You? Wife? How?

My wife. She denies it but in order to enter into any sort of relationship the friend must first be approved by her.



What do you need to be happy? From you? From someone else?

I just want affirmation and emotional intamacy. My wife does not understand what these things are even after I've explained them time and again. If a relationship became physical and/or sexual in nature, I wouldn't stop it from happening but I don't feel that I need that. I also don't feel that I need to go out and find a third or fourth or fifth partner. From my wife I need the family stability and the love that comes along with it. Does that make sense?

Exactly what in your behavior is against military rules? You having a non-sexual friend you care about deeply?

As far as the military goes, until the other day, my friend was one of my Soldiers. I was her supervisor and I seriously outrank her. That sort of thing is against the rules even if it is only a friendship.


So you ARE happy. At least on the Special Friend side of the coin.

I am but I could be happier. She brightens my day, everyday. But I don't want to have to hide it.

Seems like problem lies with wife relationship and not the friend relationship then.

This is true. She is very jealous and also sees my desire to have other relationships as a rejection of her. She is also very selfish.

You did not appreciate your wife giving the green light, and then taking it back when her other relationship folded. You would still like to be able to have non-sexual Special Friends that you can enjoy and love.

Non-sexual or sexual. I'm not seeking sex but if it happens it happens. Im not going to stop it. Do I want to have sex with my friend? Hell yes! Do I need to. No. Especially if it would harm our emotional relationship.

So... you could tell her what you want so you are not keeping it hidden.

Om afraid to. I dont want to risk my family. She is also vicious when angry and she emotionally abuses me. The first time, when things fell through, I became suicidal.

You felt entitled because of her cheating affairs -- have you both healed from all that? Or still have work to do? Could do the repair work that is still left pending.

I'm healed. We kind of have an open marriage now. It doesn't bother me if she has sex with others as long as she is safe, open and honest, and does not sacrifice the welfare of our children. That said I am not allowed to put one toe out of line. She has said that it would be alright to "swing" but I'm not into that.
"Wife, I don't want a divorce. I don't want to cheat or keep things hidden from you. I want to make repairs to our relationship from all the cheating.

I also want to be up front and honest with you from this point on. So I want to make you aware that I have a special friend. It is non-sexual. I care about my friend and enjoy having the friendship because it brings me joy. She does not replace you or threaten your position as my wife. But given our past history, I want to be up front and honest and stop with leaving things out or keeping secrets. I want our marriage to be strong and healthy."
There. She's aware.

This would not go over well.


THank you for this. I'm very confused at this point. Right now I am overseas and my wife and I are apart. I have a few months left to figure things out. One thing is for sure. I have to choose to go one way or the other. Despite all the happiness that my friend gives me, there is still a lot of pain. Its hard to hide.
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